“I’m not 100% satisfied… It’s going to get better and better.”

South Korea, led by head coach Jürgen Klinsmann, won 3-1 with Hwang In-beom’s first goal and Lee Kang-in’s multiple goals in the first round of the Asian Cup Group E against Bahrain at Jasim bin Hamad Stadium in Doha, Qatar on the 15th (Korea time).

The Taeguk Warriors, who are seeking to regain the top spot for the first time in 64 years, got off to a fresh start by winning their first game in a good mood.

Lee Kang-in, who scored multiple goals, took the spotlight, but Hwang In-beom’s ball cannot be left out. Hwang In-beom scored the first goal in the 38th minute of the first half to take the lead, and helped Lee Kang-in score a wedge goal in the 23rd minute of the second half.

Hwang In-beom is the most consistently good player in the national team. On this day, when the game was not going well, Hwang In-beom took the lead in drilling through the bow. He also led the attack by attempting several conversions and penetration passes with his unique ability to depress.

After the game, he said, “I had to prepare to gradually improve my physical condition through intensive training, and I felt heavy in the first game. That’s why I talked a lot about playing smart,” adding, “If you prepare well, you will be able to perform better.”

On the day, Korea struggled with Bahrain’s strong performance until Lee Kang-in scored a lightening winning goal in the 11th minute of the second half. Despite hardships, Hwang In-beom gave significant meaning to the victory.

Hwang In-beom said, “It was not a 100 percent satisfactory game for both individuals and teams. However, the first game is very difficult in any competition or league. Since everyone recognized that and played, they did not falter even when the score was tied 1-1. We continued to play well, and we were able to win in the end.”

On the part where his performance in the second half improved compared to the first half in the match against Bahrain, he said, “Coach Klinsmann told me that players should fill in the space in the half like the scene where I scored the first goal in the second half. I was able to create many good scenes because I was good at those parts.”

Korea couldn’t laugh even at the victory as five players including Park Yong-woo, Kim Min-jae, Lee Ki-je, Cho Kyu-sung and Son Heung-min were given warnings. Chinese referee Manning took out a yellow card even though it was not a serious situation to warn.

For this reason, Coach Klinsmann quickly took out replacement cards due to concern over possible accumulation of warnings. Except for Son Heung-min, who was given one warning right before the closing, Coach Klinsmann replaced all four players who recorded one warning each.

Players also had to play with this in mind. “Players kept talking to each other,” Hwang said. “There were times when we had to make tactical fouls due to the opponent’s change of offense, but it was a little difficult for players with warnings to break up into fouls. So I asked players with warnings to follow suit as much as possible, and players without warnings to approach and support them as soon as possible.”

“Fortunately, I finished the game well without leaving,” he said. “Players also realized that a similar decision-making tendency could come out in the next game. We need to reduce more warnings so that we can play the tournament without any variables.”

Korea, which has one win (3 points), will play its second group match against Jordan at 8:30 p.m. on the 20th. Hwang In-beom said, “I feel a little tired, but I think I need to recover well for the rest of the year. And if the coach prepares well tactically, we have to implement it well. If the players communicate with each other and make up for the shortcomings in today’s game, we will be able to perform better in the match against Jordan.”


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